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Metro Exodus Weapons guide: the best weapons, weapon upgrades and how to clean your weapons

The world of Metro Exodus isn't a friendly one, so you'll want to be well armed. Here's our guide to the weapons of the wasteland.

Metro Exodus will put you in the path of some pretty nasty people. Cannibals, raiders, thugs - and you'll often need to fight them off. Usually, Metro Exodus at least offers you a stealthy option, a way to preserve resources like ammunition and health packs - but equally, sometimes a fire fight simply can't be avoided.

You'll encounter a range of guns in Metro Exodus to that end, and the various weapons on offer each have slightly different pros and cons that'll surely impact how you might feel about using each. On top of that you have upgrades and customization to worry about, where swapping out a few parts can significantly change the performance of a weapon to make it better fit your play style.

On this page, we're going to run down all the weapons in Metro Exodus, highlight some of our favorite picks for the best weapon, and talk about how customization works. Let's get to it...

Metro Exodus Weapons: every weapon and thoughts on the best weapons

Here's a list of almsot all the weapons you'll encounter across the ravaged wastes of Russia in Metro Exodus, plus a little on what we think of each and which we think are the best weapons to equip. Remember that weapon upgrades and customization have a great deal of impact on your weapon choice, too - and we talk a little more about that below.

Revolver [Pistol]

Metro Exodus' revolver is pretty typical to how these hand-cannons appear in most games. It deals out significant damage - one of the best in the game - but it has absolutely enormous recoil and thus has a significant limit on how quickly you can fire it. If you know you can be accurate and not panic so you have time to place your shots, this is an absolute beast of a weapon and one of the best weapons for downing enemies quickly, and remains relevant throughout the game. You can even put a silencer on this bad boy to make it an ideal stealth option.

A-shot [Shotgun / Pistol]

Okay, so, here's the weird thing about the A-shot, or Ashot as some write - it looks like a pistol, but actually it's a bit like a low-powered shotgun. It has the properties of a shotgun, but it can also perform for you like a pistol with the right upgrades. Ashot is most effective at close range and even then its accuracy isn't the best even if you pile it up with accuracy-increasing weapon mods, but it's fast-firing. The ashot can be really useful early on in the game, but later on it should certainly be replaced - probably with the revolver.

Shambler [Shotgun]

Nothing is quite as you'd expect in the post-apocalyptic world of Metro Exodus, and the Shambler is a shotgun given a make-over suitable for the apocalypse. It's more accurate and fires more quickly than the Ashot in the shotgun stakes, but it isn't nearly as damaging. This is a weapon that starts out less useful but can very quickly become more powerful and useful as you add upgrades to things like its magazine size in order to make its actual utility match its insane firepower potential.

Bastard Gun [Submachine Gun]

The Bastard Gun is Metro Exodus' go-to SMG, and being of that particular class of fun its main selling point is a high, impressive rate of fire. This is a risk and reward scenario in Metro - the high rate of fire can be helpful in a fight, but it also means more moving parts, making the gun more likely to jam if you spray and pray for too long. Burst fire is the key, and it makes up for its low damage rating with a very high rate of fire. We don't recommend this as one of the best weapons, but for some players it might be ideal depending on play-style.

Kalash [Rifle]

The Kalash is one of your earliest starting weapons, and it's a good one. As the name suggests, this is a 'legally distinct', post-apocalypse play on the Kalashnikov AK-47, one of the most famous guns ever. Like its real-world namesake it is reliable, with a solid rate of fire and a large magazine. It's a jack-of-all-trades, which in turn means it is a master of none - but that versatility means you should keep one on you at all times - or at least, until its bigger, better brother, the Bulldog, comes along.

Bulldog [Rifle]

The Bulldog is a rifle that crops up for access later on in Metro Exodus, and it's well worth using. Here's the rub - the Bulldog fires in three-shot bursts, which gives it an increased range and accuracy. The lower, burst-based rate of fire shouldn't hurt as in Metro Exodus ammo is always a concern. The only real downside is that it's less reliable than the Kalash, and will need to be cleaned and repaired more often. It's flat-out a better weapon, however, and you should absolutely be using it as soon as you pick it up.

Valve [Sniper Rifle]

The Valve is basically your only option for truly long-range combat in Metro Exodus, so it's definitely your best weapon for that. This is your only sniper rifle, and it works as such - it has huge kick back and a way slower rate of fire, but obviously it's very much a one shot, one kill sort of weapon. This is useful in certain situations, but in general there are better options for taking up a weapon slot.

Tikhar [Air Rifle]

The Tikhar will be presented to you as part of the main story progression in Metro Exodus, and it's a hand-built air gun rather than a pre-war hand-me-down. It's almost like a very high powered BB gun. It's got low damage, but it's incredibly accurate and makes next to no noise in its default state without needing a silencer to be installed - making it an ideal stealth weapon. Bullets for this are less often found, however, and usually have to be crafted.

Helsing [Crossbow]

Later on in Metro Exodus you'll also be introduced to another new silent-but-deadly weapon - the Helsing. As the name hints, this is a crossbow that'd be right at home taking down vampires, though in Metro Exodus it's of course just at home at taking down thugs. For stealth this is one of the best weapons in the game, and it also help helps to alleviate ammo concerns - you can retrieve bolts from corpses. If things go south, you can also use explosive bolts, Rambo style.

How to upgrade and customize your weapons in Metro Exodus

When picking weapons in Metro Exodus, one thing is key: pretty much every weapon in the game can be upgraded. Weapons have a range of parts to them - stock, sight, magazine, barrel and so on - and you can swap weapon parts out at will in order to significantly adjust the way that weapon handles. Some guns that really have a big of a so-so performance such as the ashot can be seriously improved by changing their load out, and weapon strengths can be enhanced and weaknesses dulled if you want to use a specific weapon but aren't entirely happy with how it handles out of the gate.

The first thing you'll need to do in order to get stuck in to weapon upgrades is pick up some of the weapon attachments and parts you can use. Not every part is compatible with every weapon, either, so you'll simply want to scavenge as much as you can from out in the world. Some upgrades might be found actually in the open, but the majority will be dropped from enemies in Metro Exodus. When you've downed an enemy, you likely usually look down at them in order to loot them. Look also for their gun, which they will have dropped. When you hover over the gun you'll get a prompt to pick it up - and keep an eye out for orange-highlighted parts of the weapon outline in this UI element.

This orange tint represents parts on that gun you don't yet have. You can see a good example pictured above. If it's an all-new gun, the whole gun will be that color. You don't have to pick the entire gun up either; two prompts will offer you the choice between swapping for that gun or simply stripping out the exciting new weapon customization parts to take with you. You should always grab these parts; there's no upside to leaving them behind.

In order to then apply your parts, simply open your backpack. You can do this on the fly anywhere in the game and apply basic parts, meaning you can even potentially swap some parts for one specific encounter you know is going to take place at a certain range, then switch back once the encounter is over. You can also do this at any workbench including back on the Aurora, and generally we suggest undertaking bigger changes, like adjusting your entire load-out, in a setting like that.

How to Clean your Weapons in Metro Exodus

The world of Metro is a grim, dirty pace, and not even weapons are safe from the elements. Every weapon in Exodus has a cleanliness stat - and once a weapon begins to get dirty, its reliability will lower. Dirty weapons are more likely to jam and force an early reload, while they also suffer from a reduced damage output, meaning you'll take longer to take down enemies. The only way around this is to clean your weapons well and often.

You can only clean your weapons in Metro Exodus at a workbench. This basically means that, yes, you can't do it via your backpack in the field. If you're trapped deep in a tunnel or something with a jamming weapon, your best bet instead is to drop it and swap for another weapon dropped by an enemy. Otherwise, you should be regularly heading to workbenches at safe houses and back on the Aurora - and there you'll find an option to clean each weapon you currently have on you in the weapon customization menu. It costs resources, but it's vital maintenance.

About the Author

Alex Donaldson avatar

Alex Donaldson

Assistant Editor

Alex started out his career in the games media as an over-eager kid working on fan sites, and now has decades of experience. He's the resident expert on esoteric matters such as Pokemon Go, gaming hardware, and genres like RPGs, fighters, and strategy games. Outside of VG247 he's the co-founder of genre-dedicated website RPG Site. He also collects original arcade machines, Lego, and considers himself a whiskey buff.

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